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President Niinistö: Finland's security position, Nato decision getting "finishing touches"

Finland's President Sauli Niinistö said that he will announce his decision on potential Nato membership by 12 May.

President of Finland Sauli Niinistö. Image: Joni Tammela / Yle

Finland's President Sauli Niinistö met with political party leaders and parliamentary committee chairs on Thursday to discuss strengthening Finland’s security in light of the changing geopolitical situation.

The meeting was attended by the speaker and deputy speakers of Parliament, the chairs of the foreign affairs and defence committees as well as by Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto (Green) and the leaders of each parliamentary party.

"I feel that the work that began in this group on 10 March is receiving its finishing touches. I want to thank everyone who contributed to this work. We again had an in-depth discussion on the ongoing report process and its next steps," Niinistö said.

In a press release announcing the meeting, Niinistö also reiterated his intention to publicly reveal his own position on Finland potentially applying to join the Nato alliance by late next week.

"I have said that I will state my position on Finland’s NATO membership no later than 12 May. The picture of the current situation is shared. We are proceeding systematically and together. The goal is clear: ensuring Finland’s security in all circumstances," he said.

Niinistö also noted the increased international interest in Finland's security policy and position.

"In my international discussions during this spring, I have received encouraging support for Finland’s solutions. These discussions will also continue," he said.

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Discussions continue with parliamentary committees

Niinistö is scheduled to meet with the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs on Friday, having held talks with Parliament's Defence Committee earlier this week.

"My message is clear: Finland must ensure its own security," he said after the meeting with the defence committee which included a discussion of the government's extensive report on the current security situation, which was submitted to Parliament before Easter.

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